RPGs often base much of their mechanics on real limitations. Measurements of strength and stamina often determine or contribute to how much a player can carry in an RPG such as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrimbut that doesn’t mean the result is realistic.
SkyrimLike it Forgetfulness in front of it, sets a limit to players as to how much they can keep with them at any given time. These limits prevent players from hoarding every item in the game, but when a player steps back and looks at everything, it quickly becomes apparent how ridiculous the sheer amount of gear the Dragonborn can carry despite these limits.
That’s the case for Duketrave, a Skyrim player who shared their experience of emptying their potion inventory. A simple screenshot reveals a room absolutely littered with potion bottles, which Duketrave says was only 25% of the potion collection in their inventory. The Dragonborn is capable of many supernatural feats, but you might be wondering where they managed to put all these potions on their person and still manage to get around afterwards.
Other players were quick to feel sorry, telling their own stories of carrying so many potions that dropping them all slowed down or crashed the game. Others discussed the tried-and-true tradition of hoarding potions and useful consumables throughout the game, fearing what the next big fight would bring, only to end up with a surplus they never touched.
In games like Skyrim, carry limits are based more on the physical weight of the items, rather than a massive amount. For example, a player can carry an almost endless supply of flowers and herbs, as they are practically weightless. It initially seems like a limitation that adds realism, but when you step back and look at the sheer physical volume of what their Dragonborn carries with them, it quickly becomes absurd.
Of course, strict realism doesn’t always equate to fun in video games. Even in other genres there are usually quirks of some sort. Leon’s restrictive suitcase in for example Resident Evil 4 is just one aspect of what he can wear, with the various important items and collectibles seemingly taking up no space on his person. There may not be room for a single tube of medicinal spray in the trunk, but that doesn’t stop him from collecting chessboards and beer mugs to sell to the merchant.
Wandering through the world of Skyrim with its sheer number of collectibles, consumables, and gear, a storage system is needed that won’t leave players feeling like they’re constantly having to leave each new discovery behind. That said, Lydia’s unwilling comments about carrying the Dragonborn’s burdens become more understandable when the player regularly dumps a huge amount of these types of items on his companion.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
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